The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball season Off the Block will post the top five best men’s volleyball stories of the week from around the nation. The list, though, is based more on how well the reporter wrote and covered the story rather than just what happened on the court.

Off the Block will be primarily looking at a college newspapers — they provide the majority of coverage to the sport — but occasionally I will include some well written men’s volleyball articles from professional newspapers.

In many communities volleyball is a non-mainstream sport that has a niche following. One of the exciting things for reporters covering volleyball, though,is finding that interesting angle that could appeal to volleyball and non-volleyball fans.


Going beyond the boxscore and game notes to provide readers with insight on the team that they can’t got anywhere else is one of the most important skills for a sports reporter.

This list is to honor those efforts.

Ball State settles score with Quincy
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State defeated Quincy in conference play Saturday — the first match between the two teams since the Hawks upset the Cardinals in the MIVA Tournament last season. This game story examines how important it was for Ball State to beat Quincy and the personal grudge some of the players have carried from last season.

Penn State’s Sunder battles knee injury
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Penn State All-American outside attacker Joe Sunder received a cortisone shot last week to help heal a knee injury that he suffered last year. This article examines why Sunder opted to get the controversial shot and the potential long-term effects if he returns to the court too soon and the injury doesn’t heal.

UCLA keep on defending No. 1 ranking
Kevin Bowman | Daily Bruin
UCLA is on a nation-best 10-match winning streak and this week moved to No. 1 in the national coaches poll for the first time this season. This article discusses how the Bruins and coach Al Scates are handling that top ranking and why being No. 1 serves as additional motivation for the players.

Rouse playing big role for Ball State in second year
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State libero Tommy Rouse after being an All-MIVA selection as a freshman last season had high expectations coming into this year. This news-feature article looks at Rouse’s ability to continue to improve his play and how the sophomore has solidified the Cardinals’ back-row defense.

Penn State beats Rutgers-Newark in EIVA opener
Kevin Byrne | The Daily Collegian
One of thing that can make a game story a good read are quotes that provide a true sense of honesty from players and coaches rather than cliches and politically correct statements. The game story for Penn State’s sweep against Rutgers-Newarks provides these in-sights with coach Mark Pavlik discussing how it wasn’t a clean win and players admitting it was tough to get pumped up for this opponent.